I gave you all of my love. And you ran from me.
For months, you were the first thing I thought of in the morning, and the last thing I thought of at night. What are you thinking? I don’t know how many times I wondered that in our time together, as I looked into your big brown eyes. Invariably, you would kiss my nose and the thoughts melted away into a smile. You could always do that for me. You were the one who could always make me smile.
When I’d been sobbing and my nose was bright red, and my eyes were smeared with mascara and I probably looked like a deranged panda, you didn’t care. You lay down next to me, your warm body comforting against mine, and smiled up at me, as if to say, ‘Everything will be ok. You’ll see.’
You never complained, even when things were at their worst. Your smile never changed, even when I was laid off. You were as warm and comforting as you’d always been. I’d come home from an interview gone wrong and collapse on the couch, wanting to close my eyes and never open them again. You’d just come and sit on the floor at my feet, leaning up against me, comforting me with your warmth. As if you knew things were going to get better. You’d look up at me, trust in those deep brown eyes. You knew everything was going to be ok because you had faith in me. Because you trusted me more than I trusted myself.
You were always up for a walk, even if it was dark and raining. You splashed in those mud puddles like a little kid. And I suppose, in many ways, you were a little kid. Cleaning up was never fun when we got home, but it was worth it to see you happy.
I gave you all of my love. I wouldn’t leave before saying goodbye to you. And I wouldn’t come home without giving you a kiss. When I cooked, I’d separate out some of whatever I was making, and save it for you, cooking it in the way you liked.
“It’s just chicken,” I’d say, smiling, watching as you wolfed it down like it was the most delicious thing in the world.
I loved you. And I thought you loved me back. I thought I could trust you. Maybe I was wrong.
Today, I let go. I didn’t mean to. One second, I was in control and everything was fine – and then the next second, it wasn’t. In one moment, everything changed. In one moment, you slipped away.
One second, you were walking by my side. I thought we were happy together.
The next second, you’d slipped out of your little jacket and you were running, running away from me. I held an untethered leash.
I could only watch in shock as you abandoned me, running circles around me in the dirt, as I cried by myself. You ran and you ran. You dug in the dirt. You rolled in the grass, smiling all the while as I looked on, terrified. You wouldn’t come back to me, no matter how many times I called your name, no matter how much I begged and pleaded and, ultimately, cursed, shouted and threatened.
You wouldn’t come back to me.
I thought we had something special.
I thought you loved me as much as I love you.
Bad girl, Nellie.
You are a bad dog.